Superheroes are all around us. These are the people managers come running to when a critical bug appears in production. Or the people who sacrifice their evenings, weekends and vacation time for their employer.

I used to be one of these superheroes. I used to love being called upon when a critical bug appeared in production. It was great to feel appreciated. As software testers, we don’t experience this feeling of appreciation often enough and for me, it was addictive.

As I got involved in more projects, this superhero status became a problem. I wanted to experience this feeling of appreciation again when things went wrong so I was reluctant to share knowledge with team members. I would often be called upon when an issue arose.

At first, this felt great. When I was answering calls outside work, the praise kept coming. Soon enough though, this became what was expected of me. I was no longer a superhero in the eyes of management, but I was still putting in the excess hours.

Something had to change before I burned myself out completely.

In this talk I want to talk about how I developed a strategy to become the most effective employee I could be, but within contracted working hours. I learned to share knowledge, challenge excess work that landed on my desk and ensure that all the work I was doing was completed within my 9-5.

I want to share how you can be passionate about your job but also have a very healthy work-life balance.